Young & Hungry with Jonathan Sadowski
by Eric Chase
Where are you originally from?
I hail from a neighborhood called Bridgeport in Chicago’s Southside. I actually grew up in the same building that my grandmother grew up in.
What is your nationality?
I am Italian/Sicilian and Polish. Jonathan Michael-Angelo Sadowski…
Give us 5 words that you think best describe you.
Mischievous. Moral. Determined. Passionate. Outgoing.
You’re a "sign" (cancer, sagitarius, libra etc), how would you describe your personality in that regard?
I’m Scorpio/Sagittarius cusp…I have a quick fuse and I tend to hold grudges….BUT…I’m also a hopeless romantic, a confident leader, and a lover of adventure.
What are the recent projects you've worked on?
I had a movie come out last year called “ALL RELATIVE”. It was a pretty great flick. I played a guy who goes to meet his girlfriend’s parents and when he gets there, he realized he has slept with his girlfriend’s mom. I got to act alongside Connie Nielsen, Sarah Paxton, and David Aaron Baker…all of whom are FANTASTIC.
How was that like? How did you get that role?
The writer and director of the movie, JC Khoury, had sent my agent an email expressing interest. We had a Skype conversation after I read the script, and then he flew to LA and we had lunch and he offered me the role.
What would you say is your best asset?
I think I have a pretty quick wit…which now that I think about it has gotten me into a lot of trouble….it’s also gotten me OUT of trouble, but definitely got me into trouble...….hahaha….eyes….let’s just go with my eyes.
What do others compliment you on the most?
I’m a giver. I grew up not having much and sharing was a huge part of my upbringing. I’m a big advocate of helping people when you can….especially friends and family. If someone needs help, and you are able to help them, why not just help them?
How did you get started in acting?
I was a finance major in college and realized that I was going to be miserable for the rest of my life if I was trapped behind a desk. I always wanted to be an actor, and I finally said “fuck it” and changed majors. My first audition ever was for the acting program at The University of Illinois. After spending a couple years in acting training, I changed my focus into directing and play writing. I graduated and moved to LA a month later.
What do you enjoy most about being an actor?
Man, where do I begin. I love it all. Portraying characters that may be COMPLETELY different from who you are. It’s like being able to step inside of someone else’s skin. But it goes beyond that for me…When you walk onto a stage, there is a certain smell. The paint. The set. The chairs in the audience. It all comes together into one smell…I can’t describe the feeling it gives me….I just…..know I’m home…It’s emotional. I think about all the people who performed there before me. All the different sets that were there, the people who built them, all the people who have SEEN performances there…It makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger. I get to play my role in the history of Hollywood.
How did you land the role for the Young & Hungry?
I read the script and I loved it. I got to in and meet with David Holden, the creator, and audition. A couple days later, I did a chemistry test with Emily Osment (who was already cast) and later that night I got a call from my agent telling me that I got the role. I love those calls. When you really want something and it comes to fruition.
What are we going to expect from your character "Josh”?
Well, the end of season one was a giant cliffhanger. Josh ran up Gabi’s fire escape in the rain, with roses, and got there just in time to see her making out with his employee, Cooper. Season two? Well, let’s just say that Josh is competitive. He is not one to simply give up. So you can expect some courtship…and maybe him trying to get over the season one finale with other women. hahaha.
How do you relate to your character in your personal life?
Josh and myself are ultimately big kids. Josh loves comics, and Star Wars, and Star Trek….I love magic (yes…..magic) and cartoons. Also, we are both VERY protective. We are loyal and watch after our friends with voracity.
Let's talk about the very first major role you played?
I remember it well. I was a bartender and my manager at the time told me that I had 30 more days tending bar…that’s it. She said I had to quit. Would you believe that on about day 28, I booked the lead in a pilot for FOX. A couple days later I booked the role of PAUL in SHE’S THE MAN. And that same week I sold a screenplay that my roommate and I wrote. It was amazing. That was 10 years ago, and I haven’t worked a side job since. I’m proud of that. My one goal when I came to LA was to be able to fully support myself solely as an actor.
You worked with major stars before, how was your experience working on the Die Hard movie?
That was such a shock. I auditioned for a couple different roles in the movie. And nothing came out of it. Months later, my agent called me and said “What are you doing Monday?” I told him about the couple of appointments I had. HE told me to cancel them because I was going to work on LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. I flipped out. They had to replace the original guy, and I was the next choice. Hollywood, man….you never know what’s going to happen.
Do you like playing a good guy or a baddie?
I like playing great characters. To me it doesn’t matter if it is a good guy or a bad guy. I just want to read a great character on the page, and bring him to life.
What do you like most: TV or the big screen?
They are both very different. Movies shoots are great, especially when you are on location. Getting to spend time in various cities…but in television you get to work with the same group, on the same stage, for the run of the show. There is a big sense of family. They are both great, but if I’m gonna be honest, I wouldn’t trade my job on YOUNG & HUNGRY for anything. I get to make people laugh for a living. How cool is that?
What is the funniest thing to happen to you on a shoot?
While shooting FRIDAY THE 13th, we were out in boondocks of Texas. We would get to our trailers, get dressed, go through hair/makeup and then take a van deep into the woods. We got dropped off and had to walk about a hundred yards down this little path before we got to the actual set. Well, It was the middle of the night, and I had to go to the bathroom………and the port-o-potties were all the way back at the start of the long path. I naturally asked if anyone else had to go because it was VERY DARK AND SCARY AS SHIT. But alas, no one had to. So I start off on my trek to the toilet. On the way back down the path, DEREK MEARS (who played JASON) was hiding in the bushes in FULL JASON MAKEUP/COSTUME. He popped out and scared the hell out of me. I screamed. I ran in place….it was horrible. I looked up and saw everyone on set laughing their asses off….they were all in on it.
What are the top three things you like to do?
Eating. Magic (yes…..magic). Traveling.
What are some of your hidden talents other than acting?
I am a close up magician (YES! MAGIC!) and I also play the piano and guitar. I’d like to think I’m a decent singer and definitely don’t mind a good karaoke party.
Where do you want your career to be in two years?
I’d love for YOUNG & HUNGRY to be a hit. Maybe have a couple more films under my belt….and that could be as a writer, actor, director, or producer. You gotta stay hungry in Hollywood. You gotta be a shark. The minute you stop swimming, you die.
What is the best info you can give a new talent?
Don’t give up. Every time an actor moves back home, that is one less person you are going to compete with. You are going audition and get “NO.” after “NO.” after “NO.”…..but I promise you the one “YES.” you get will make it all worthwhile.
As an actor, what would you say has been your biggest obstacle?
The name game. Hollywood doesn’t want to take chances on unknown people. It’s tough. Look at all the movies out there….it is the same people in every one. It is VERY hard to get people to take a chance on you. I remember film I was up for where the director said flat out “YOU ARE THE BEST ACTOR UP FOR THIS ROLE. UNFORTUNATELY THE FINANCIERS DON’T THINK YOU HAVE ENOUGH MARKET VALUE.” I was floored. The best person doesn’t always get the job and that is pretty unfortunate.
If you had to walk away from acting today, what memory would you take from it?
Sitting in front of the camera, taking it all in just before the director shouts “ACTION!”……and realizing that I was living my dream.
If you had to walk away, what would you like to be remembered most for?
I would want people to remember me as a talented actor capable of truly becoming different people. An actor who was both engaging and entertaining. An actor who people looked forward to seeing again and again, in different roles.
Feature: Jonathan Sadowski
Photographer: Isaac Alvarez
Stylist: Melissa Lynn Woodbury
Groomer: Sophia Poch